Monday, 25 January 2010

Shelterbox Send aid to Haiti

Shelterbox, a Cornwall-based charity, recently shipped hundreds of boxes of aid from Newquay to the shattered nation of Haiti. What does this have to do with our Libertarian struggle? Well, I’ve been thinking a lot lately about human generosity and how it is perceived by various political schools of thought; I’ve come to the conclusion that Statists are extreme pessimists. This conclusion is, of course, limited by own perceptions and generalisations, but I surmise that the root logic behind state welfare- and in this case, international aid- is that humans are naturally greedy creatures and thus the Government is needed to forcefully take our money, through taxing, and spend it (rather inefficiently) on the unfortunate and disadvantaged. Now, speaking as a moderately pessimistic individual, I can’t fully blame Statists for making this assumption – just the other day I heard about a nearby animal shelter and my brain immediately painted a picture of a seemingly abandoned warehouse full of animals with no humans in sight. However, when I went to this shelter to assist a friend in choosing a pet, I was pleasantly surprised to see the place bustling with people. I saw so many people hoping to adopt a cat, dog or other animal that these animals were actually in high demand. I saw plenty of volunteers working on site and I saw entire legions of people arriving just to volunteer to walk a dog for the day. We all need to see these things occasionally to restore our faith in Mankind, and that day was my wake up call.

Now that my mind has been cleansed of doubt, I see a lot of charities making great strides with an ample supply of people willing to help in any way they can. I saw this news article detailing the efforts of this non-government charity organisation, and I realised that, contrary to what all the Labour-supporting Socialists say, our society would remain a caring, committed one even without state welfare. Remove the welfare state and charities would expand to compensate- organisations with the same goals but with a lot less mismanagement of funds. We supposedly live in a Democratic society and, to me, that entails giving us the choice to do the right thing or not. A system where the funds that we earn are forcefully removed and redistributed conjures up a certain image in my head, of a hammer and sickle, and we all know how that image has come to be construed in the free world these days.

The point to all this is that giving citizens a choice does not necessarily result in a dystopian future where children starve on the streets and this is the key message that our party needs to stress in reaching out to the nation.

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